Red Cross unable to supply enough blood to hospitals

Within the Greater Alleghenies Region, supplies of several blood types have fallen to emergency levels, with a day or less supply available for distribution to nearly 100 hospitals for patient care.
Local residents and patients are among those served through the Greater Alleghenies Region, which serves hospitals, patients and blood donors in a 100-county area in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, and also supports blood needs experienced by patients elsewhere in hospitals served through Red Cross Blood Services.
“Without more blood on the shelves, the American Red Cross cannot ensure that hospitals will have the blood they need to treat all patients,” said Thomas S. Angle, CEO, Greater Alleghenies Region.
In order to meet the needs of hospital patients throughout the nation, the American Red Cross strongly urges anyone who is eligible to donate blood to call 1-800 GIVE-LIFE as soon as possible.
Angle explained that every day, blood is needed in hospitals and emergency treatment facilities for patients with cancer and other diseases, for organ transplant recipients, and to help save the lives of accident victims.
“Giving blood is a safe process, is easy, and takes about an hour. Although about half of Americans are eligible to donate blood, only five percent do. Donations are critically needed; please act now by giving the gift of life,” added Angle.
“Right now, patients in hospitals across the country need you to roll up your sleeve and give the gift of lifesaving blood,” said Dr. Linda Chambers, Senior Medical Officer, American Red Cross Biomedical Services.
“Blood must be available at a moment’s notice to help anyone in need. It will not be there without generous, volunteer blood donors like you.”
The Red Cross is appealing to all individuals to donate blood and is particularly interested in Type O negative blood as this is the universal blood donor type, meaning that it can be transfused to anyone in cases of emergencies.
To donate blood, one must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh 105 pounds or more. For more information, call 1-800-542-5663 or visit www.redcrosslife.org.
Most people can donate blood every 56 days. Bring a Red Cross donor card or two other forms of positive ID.